Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Four Faces

Linden tree, Hyacinth and Statice.
To be viewed from all angles.

Every flower has a face. One of the surprising things I discovered when starting doing ikebana is how much differens it makes if you make the mistake of placing a flower so that it is looking down instead of letting it face the sun. It you hold a flower diagonally in your hand and turn the stem with your fingers you will see what I mean. It may look symmetrical and even, but it is not - it has a face.

Traditionally, ikebana arrangements that are placed in the tokonoma alcove, are designed to face the viewer sitting in front of it. Contemporary ikebana can often be seen from all angles and can be placed in the middle of a room.

Making an arrangement so that it can be seen from all angles is an important exercise in Sogetsu ikebana. When walking around the arrangment the shape will change more than you expect. The asymmetric design makes it look very different depending on the angle you're watching from. But there should always be some material facing you no matter where you stand. That's why these arrangements are sometimes named arrangements with four faces.

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